On Friday night we attended our first Field Naturalist meeting in Ballarat. By asking myself the simple question, ‘What do we have on our land?’ I have discovered the pleasure of finding a bird or a plant, and classifying it. The Field Naturalists seemed a logical progression, but for various reasons Friday was the first opportunity I had to attend a meeting.
When I first began this blog, I intended to write about the journey to self-sufficiency. Instead I found myself drawn to the plants, animals and natural forms I found in our bushland. Over time, I’ve tried to improve my photographic skills, only posting photos I thought were ‘good enough’ or noteworthy enough. On Friday night, listening to one of the Field Naturalist members talk about his encounters with birds, I was reminded of the joy of simply watching something unfold before my eyes.
This post was inspired by that talk. The photos below were taken in late August when mating season was just getting underway. Two Pacific Black Ducks were having a prolonged battle ranging over our entire dam. A third duck, I presume a female, seemed to be following within good viewing distance, always keeping out of reach of the action.
After all of this action, I’m not sure who won! I also have not seen any Pacific Black Duck offspring, so if they nested, I think it was elsewhere. We don’t have any safe nesting ground for water birds, as the dam does not have an island. I have to say, though, that I was captivated by the speed and agility of these ducks compared to the sedate and measured Australian Wood Ducks who visit more frequently. Even when the arrive solo, the Pacific Black Ducks swim fast. I look forward to their return.